Friday, April 29

Designing a room: putting it all together

One of the world's best bloggers, Melissa from 320 Sycamore, is hosting a party to showcase how different people go about decorating a room. I'll join the fun and show you how I decorated my guest room.

I started the process of furnishing this room the way I always start: by thinking about what I already had. When we moved into this house, I had two twin beds (just metal frames--no headboards), a nightstand, an old dresser, a wing chair, and a valet. I also had a couple of French posters--just cheap reproductions, actually, but fun and colorful.

Those posters served as the inspiration for the room's decor.

First I made my own upholstered headboards for the beds. Mine aren't fancy--they're actually just sheets of plywood I cut to shape with a jigsaw, padded with foam and covered in fabric. If you'd like a tutorial on how to make your own, click here.

As you can see, the twin beds are side by side at one end of this long room, with a poster hanging above each bed. The fleur de lis hanging above the lamps was a TJMaxx clearance find ($3.00). The oval mirror is one I bought back in 1996 at Bombay Company (I still miss that store!). I like the way it looks hanging just over the nightstand. I keep dried hydrangeas in a vase on the nightstand everyday, but when we have overnight guests I always put fresh flowers here. I love to see the flowers reflected in the mirror.

The window treatments are simple balloon valances I made from a lovely brown floral fabric.

I've had the matelasse coverlets on the bed for many years. I simply made throws from the same fabric as the headboards and pillows from the same fabric as the valances. I think it all ties together nicely.

Other accessories in the room include this wall of plates and paintings by Maurice Utrillo.

The paintings are prints from the early 20th century. I found a collection of prints in an antique store for $5.00. From that group I chose these four Paris street scenes. The prints are all slightly different sizes, so I had these professionally framed. Total framing cost was $88.00. The plates are Haviland china made in France; I found them at my local Goodwill store for 68 cents apiece. I simply glued a sawtooth hanger to the back of each plate to hang them on the wall.

The other end of this long, narrow room holds the wingback chair and dresser I already owned. The dresser belonged to my parents for 30 years. In 1991, they gave it to me; I painted it white to serve as a changing table for my babies. I spray-painted it black for use in this room.

Beside the wing chair is a stack of hatboxes I found at a local antique store:

The lamp on the dresser was a Target clearance find ($9.08). The prints above the lamp are reproductions of French travel posters. I bought them in France for just a few dollars--a very inexpensive souvenir. They just happened to fit perfectly in frames I had in my attic.

The blue shutters were a $3.00 find at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They started out looking like this:

and ended up looking like this:

One of my favorite things about this guest room is the en suite bath. The black and white tiled floor seemed to cry out for some color, so I was thrilled to find a red toile for $7.99/yard at my local discount fabric store. You can read this post to see how I made this shower curtain with my extremely elementary sewing skills.

The bathroom accessories include a TJMaxx clock ($15.00) and four little reproduction advertisement prints I found at Target's One Spot years ago. They came in a package of 4, so each print was just 25 cents!

All together, I spent about $250 on this room, plus furnishings I'd owned for years. I think it turned out to be a functional, comfortable, and attractive room.

In case you missed it, you should check out Melissa's series of posts on her own process for putting together a room. It's wonderful!


  1. Beautiful! So welcoming and warm!

  2. The room is beautiful. I love your hat boxes. I bet it's hard to get your guests to leave. :)

  3. Wow! You have really got a knack for this. Could you come to my house?

  4. Richella, I love your guest room. I wish I could come and visit you and stay in that lovely and comfortable room! (:>)

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  5. Very welcoming. I love it! Looks high-end designer!

  6. I love this room Richella! I am taking your suggestion and doing the girls' headboards like you did. I'm so anxious to get started on that!

    I had never seen the bathroom. I loooove the shower curtain curtain. It's gorgeous!!!! That red fabric is fabulous! So, I you have to force your guests to leave because they love it so much??

  7. It's a beautiful room and I enjoyed seeing it again! Wanted to let you know that I'm using your faux roman shade idea today :). Need to run out and buy another small tension rod. If I post about it I'll link to you. Since I found the tutorial on Traci's blog, I was wondering if you wanted me to link there or if it's somewhere on your blog as well?

  8. Thank you so much for you sweet comments!!! I have the hardest time putting together a room. I can do a piece of furniture but that is about it. Can you come over and put it all together for me? I am in Ann Arbor and we do love it, although the winters are a bit long:) Where do you live now?

  9. How pretty! I'd love to be a guest in that room. ; )

  10. I love this room Richella! It's so inviting. I love white bedspreads...always have, always will.

  11. So, I'm a week late coming to visit, but I still want to come stay in your guest room! It's just beautiful~you paid attention to every detail. A perfect room to curl up with a good book, or stay up chatting all night with a dear friend :)

  12. Good job! It turned out really nice. The upholstered headboards are actually beautiful. Thanks for sharing your space with us :)


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